Why sub contractors should send professional invoices
Each subcontractor has their own area of expertise from electrical work, lawn care to roofing – and their own style of working. That means no one-size-fits-all invoice will do. On top of that, you are often providing the same sort of work that your client does, so the expectations are very precise.
That means you need to clearly outline the work you’ve done and the prices you’ve charged. Easy-to-understand, professional-looking invoices also reinforce your reputation as a reputable and trusted subcontractor. Best of all – a thorough, accurate invoice reflects a job well done – and can lead to repeat business!
Once you've downloaded your free invoice template, you'll need to customize it to fit your specific business. Here are the 10 key things to include on your invoice:
- Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
- Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
- Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
- Invoice Number: Include a unique invoice number to help you track down this invoice in the future. You can format this based on sequence and customer. For example, if you're sending your very first customer their first invoice, the invoice number could be 001-001.
- Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
- Line Item: Add individual line items for each unique good or service you provided. For each line item, include a brief description, quantity, individual unit price, and total price.
- Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
- Tax: Indicate the tax rate applied to the subtotal. This is legally required to provide on invoices, and your rate may differ depending on where you run your business.
- Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
- Notes: Include any additional info your customer should know, including terms of service and payment terms (for example, payments are due 30 days after the invoice has been issued).
- Look through the variety of invoice templates we offer in different designs and colors and select the one that fits your specific subcontracting work
- Download the invoice template in the format you use, such as Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets. They’re all easy to use – and best of all – they’re free!
- Insert your business name, phone number, email address, and your subcontractor services
- Put in your logo, website address, and any other appropriate graphics
- Add in your client’s name and contact information
- Generate a unique invoice number or work order number and add it on
- Put in the invoice date, and if appropriate, the date the work started and finished, or the duration for which you provided your subcontracting services
- List your services and the costs. Include a description of each service and specify whether you are charging an hourly or flat rate
- List any materials you provided – including a description of each, with the quantity and cost per unit
- Don’t forget to list any miscellaneous charges you incurred – including a description of each and the cost
- Add or subtract lines to make sure the invoice covers all your costs. The template is easily customized to meet the specific subcontracting project
- If you are including any discounts, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are getting a great deal
- Calculate the total price you’re charging, including applicable tax, and list the total at the bottom of the invoice
- Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept, and the payment due date
- It’s always a good idea to add a personal line at the end – especially if you’d like to make this a regular client. Adding a ‘thank you’ for the business, or a note about an interesting aspect of the project, helps you stand apart from the competition
- Save a copy – and give the invoice to your client
When is the right time to send an invoice to your subcontracting clients?
The best time to send your invoice varies with the type of service you provide. If it is a one-off job or project, you might want to invoice upon completion, especially if it’s for a recurring client. But if it’s a complicated project that will span over a long period of time, many subcontractors request partial or even full payment up front.
Much also depends on how well you know the client. For example, if it’s a new client, you may want to request a portion of your fee upfront to protect yourself against any potential problems that might occur with an unfamiliar client.
Quick invoicing tips for subcontractors
Personalize your invoices
A great way to show how much you appreciate and understand your client’s business is to add some personal touches to your invoice. Especially if you provide similar work as your client, a personal note about a detail of the project shows that you and the client share the same values and expertise.
Accept a variety of payment methods
Make it easy to get paid for your hard work. Give your clients the choice to pay in the way that is most convenient for them by accepting e-Transfers, direct bank deposits, and other online methods of payment.
Prepare a detailed proposal or proforma invoice
Make sure your clients know exactly what you will be providing and how much it will cost by sending them a proposal or proforma invoice with your agreed-upon terms and expectations. This can help prevent misunderstandings that can delay payment.
Keep a record of your work with numbered invoices
Numbered invoices help you keep track of how much money is coming in, and shows your clients you have an organized system in place. If your sub contracting job is going to be spread out over a long period of time and requires you to send in several invoices, you might want to also use a job code. This will help you keep track of all the invoices coming in from that particular project or client.